586 F.2d 959 (2d Cir. 1978)
Flores filed a petition against the NLRB, arguing his union had failed to provide him job referrals because he was not a part of the union. The administrative law judge found in his favor, stating that the union had failed to do so solely because it wanted to provide benefits to non-union members, thus engaging in unfair labor actions. However, in his ruling the judge went beyond the issues raised in the initial complaint or in any part of the hearing to consider the legality of a provision of a collective bargaining agreement.
Whether the administrative law judge may go beyond the complaint to invalidate a portion of the agreement where it was not brought up as part of the hearing and neither party was given notice regarding its consideration.
No, the ruling is overturned. It is a violation of section 554 of the Administrative Procedures Act because the legality of the provision of the collective bargaining agreement was not raised at any point in the hearing. More importantly, the legality of the provision was part of the notification when the parties were given initial notice of the hearing. The intent of the notice provision of the APA is to ensure that all parties understand and can prepare for the relevant issues in the hearing. Where the judge considers issues beyond what’s presented in the initial notice, a violation of the APA occurs.